Antique Japanese Sword Wakizashi Signed by Kaneshige with NBTHK Tokubestsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Kinoshita Ise Daijo Kaneshige (木下伊勢大掾兼重). According to NBTHK’s Tokubetsu Hozon appraisal, it was approximately made during the Ka-Ei era (1848-1854: The end of the Edo period) in Kaga domain (Today’s Ishikawa prefecture). Kinoshita is his family name. And Ise Daijo is an honorable title he received.
Kageshige was one of the most renowned swordsmiths in the Kaga domain at the end of the Edo period. He was born in the 13th year of the Bunka era (1816). His father was the 8th-gen Kanehisa, also known as Kinoshita Jintaro. It is said that the first-gen Kaneihisa was a descendant of Kanemoto, one of the most famous swordsmiths in Mino province (Today’s Gifu prefecture) during the Muromachi period.
It is believed that the first-gen Kanehisa moved to the Kaga domain during the early Edo period and made a foundation of the school that prospered throughout the Edo period.
Kaneshige mastered excellent sword-forging techniques under his father and took over his father’s school. And he received the official rank of Ise Daijyo in the 6th year of Ansei (1859).
Maeda clan was originally a retainer of Oda family, who ruled Owari province. (today’s Nagoya area in Aichi prefecture) The first head of the Maeda clan was Toshie Maeda. He climbed the social ladder of Samurai society, and he became the feudal lord of Kaga Province(today’s Ishikawa prefecture).
It is said that he had a vast rice fief that fed 100 million grown-up adults, which is called Hyakuman Goku. The Maeda clan was one of the most powerful lines in Samurai history. Toshie Maeda had a close tie with Oda Nobunaga and Hideyoshi Toyotomi.
This blade was registered under the board of education in Ishikawa prefecture, where this blade had been forged. We presume the descendant of a Samurai had preserved it for generations since the end of the Edo period.
This blade is appraised as a Tokubetsu Hozon Token(特別保存刀剣) issued by NBTHK(Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai:日本美術刀剣保存協会). This authentication paper was only given to authentic Japanese swords, especially well preserved and high quality with artistic value.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 32.4 cm ( 12.7 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：0.6 cm (0.23 inches)
The crystalline structure which forms along the cutting edge of a blade as a result of the hardening process
visible steel surface pattern created by folding and hammering during forging process
Nakago：Nakago is the tang of the Japanese sword.
Japanese swordsmiths left the black rust on the tang because it prevents red rust while the tang is in its handle. And the discoloration of the tang was created over time, and it is a great indicator for a Japanese sword specialist to estimate when the sword was forged.
Koshirae: Koshirae is the mounting of the Japanese sword. There are several parts that consist of Koshirae such as Saya(Scabbard), Tsuka( Handle), Tsuba(Handguard).
Fuchi-Kashira：A pair of matching sword fittings that cover the upper and bottom parts of its sword hilt.
This Fuchi Kashira has glossy black color, and this coloring makes engraved designs stand out. Lots of small birds are carved with clear engraving lines. If you look at the side of the Fuchi part, you will find an engraved inscription. It is written as follows: 山尾 春里, and his Kaoh (花押, stylized signature). It shows the name of this Fuchi Kashira’s maker.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
We are unsure of the motif of this Menuki. However, based on its shape, we assume the Kayakuire (火薬入れ, powder flask) is designed here. It is a small container to store gunpowder. In Japan, powder flasks were made from developed materials and produced with advanced techniques. Some of them were gorgeously painted with lacquer. We imagine there were once some Samurai who carried these tools around their waists. It makes sense that such tools were incorporated into designs for sword mountings.
Tsuba and Habaki：Tsuba is the handguard for the Japanese Sword and Habaki is the equipment to make the blade not touch its scabbard inside. It prevents the blade from getting rusty and chipped.
This Tsuba has an irregular shape, and a soft metal plate is applied to Kozuka and Kougai holes. You would find a leaf is designed on the top and bottom. This leaf is the Aoi (葵); it is a plant in which each stems branches and has characteristic heart-shaped leaves. Today, the Aoi-Domoe / Mitsuba-Aoi-no Mon (葵巴/三つ葉葵の紋 ) is known as the family crest of Tokugawa Shogunate family led by Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川 家康, 1543-1616), a famous military commander of the Warring States period.
This plant pattern has also been used for the crest of the Kamo shrine in Kyoto prefecture. As mentioned above, the famous Shogunate family, the Tokugawa family, had their family crest with three leaves of Aoi due to their relationship with the Kamo shrine. This religious connection or the relationship with the Shogunate family might have influenced sword mountings’ designs, such as this Tsuba. As its leaves have a habit of always facing the sun, and the word “Aoi” is taken as “Aogu (仰ぐ, looking up)” for the sun, people thought the Aoi pattern would bring good fortune.
Kozuka：Kozuka is a small knife stored in Kozuka Hitsu(groove of the sheath of the Japanese sword).
A Kogatana (小刀, small knife) is stored in the Kozuka. You would find a Semi (蝉, cicada) is designed on this Kozuka. There are also letters engraved in an old typeface. However, we cannot read what is written here.
The cicada symbolizes immortality or life after death. Cicadas live underground as nymphs and change their shapes to become adults. When it happens, they will come out to the ground, grow wings, and fly in the sky. This series of situations was likened to the figure of people who became mountain hermits and ascended to the hermit world. This insect pattern has been appreciated for its honorable impression.
Kougai：Kougai is the equipment for Samurai to arrange or fix his hair style.
A Kougai (笄) is attached to this Koshirae. This is a tool for arranging or fixing Samurais’ hairstyles. The Kougai is usually stored in the Kougai Hitsu. The Kozuka is often stored at the other side of the scabbard. This Kougai is separated into two parts, and this type of Kougai is categorized as the Wari Kougai (割笄). This separated type was invented in the Edo period and became popular as decorative metal fittings. A theory says some people used the Wari Kougai as chopsticks.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
If you focus on the end of this scabbard, you will find the Kojiri (鐺). It is a metal fitting that protects the tip of a scabbard. It seems silvery paint was initially applied to them. The Karakusa (唐草, arabesque) pattern is designed on this Kojiri. The Karakusa pattern is a design in which stems and leaves of vines are twined and make curves. Since ivy has a strong vitality and grows up without interruption, people regarded this design as a symbol of prosperity and longevity.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate for the blade (No.1018625)
NBTHK, also known as Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai (the Society for the Preservation of the Japan Art Sword), is one of the oldest Japanese sword appraising organizations in modern-day Japan. They authenticated the blade on Aug. 25th in the 4th year of Reiwa (2022). They appraised it as Tokubetsu Hozon Touken, the blade especially worth preserving for Japanese society. The purchaser will receive this original certificate as well. We can also translate what is written into English and make a PDF file for your record if you request.
Registration Number : Ishikawa 6667
The Board of Education in Ishikawa prefecture issued a registration paper for this sword. It is called Jyu Token Rui Torokusho(銃刀剣類登録証). Bunkacho(The Agency for Cultural Affairs) acknowledges a Japanese sword with this paper as a work of art.
The sword needs to be traditionally hand-forged and made of Tamahagane carbon steel to be registered in the system. With this paper, its owner in Japan can legally own an authentic Japanese sword. Based on this registration number, we will apply for its export permit.
This paper will need to be returned to the board of education when the sword is being shipped abroad, but you can receive a copy of it. An English translation of this registration paper is available on request.
Samurai Museum is located in Tokyo, Japan, exhibiting antique artifacts related to the Samurai history. Samurai Museum Shop is the place for those who are interested in Japanese culture and craftsmanship. We deal with antique Samurai swords/armor, traditional crafts made in Japan and so on.
Here is one of the reviews we received from a customer who purchased an authentic Japanese sword from us. For more reviews, please click here.
“My experience overall with the whole process was wonderful. I had many questions about the history and process to purchase these treasures. All my questions were answered very timely and complete. The staff is very knowledgeable and very well versed if any questions do arise.”
【Japanese Sword& Export Process】
The Japanese swords we deal with are hand-forged edged swords made in Japan. It was made from the traditional carbon steel called TAMAHAGANE(玉鋼). Samurai Museum is familiar with the proper legal procedure for an antique/ authentic Japanese sword to be exported from Japan. We have sent more than 500 Japanese swords for the past three years (～2023) to amazing owners who appreciate its historical value.
Each Japanese sword is registered under the Agency for Cultural Affairs and the Board of Education in Japan. They issue a registration paper for each Japanese sword for its owner in Japan to legally possess it. The Japanese sword with its registration paper means it was traditionally hand-forged in Japan.
To legally export the sword from Japan to other countries, we will have to apply for its permit to the Agency for Cultural Affairs(Bunkacho) and return the original registration paper to the Board of Education. It normally takes around 2-4 weeks to receive this permit after submitting required documents. And we would like you to expect at least 1-1.5 months for your order to arrive at your given address after you ordered. For more detailed info, please click here.
It is allowed for residents in Japan to own authentic Japanese swords without a special license as long as they come with registration papers. Please feel free to contact us if you are a resident of Japan, whether temporarily or permanently. We will also assist you when you leave Japan and need to obtain the export permit.
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* If the amount is above 1 million JPY, Stripe or wire transfer will be the only options for payment.
We have shipped authentic Japanese swords to the USA, UK, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, France, Hong Kong and Australia. If you don’t live in these countries and like to order, please contact us first before making a purchase. We offer Free International Shipping as long as we can send antique Japanese swords by EMS.
We normally ship by EMS(Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post. We will send you a tracking number for your order as soon as we hand it to the post office. We will put 100 % insurance on the shipping document without any extra charge. Based on the total amount, there might be a duty tax or other fee for you to pay, depending on the countries. We use package cushioning to protect the item and put it in a PVC pipe, which is one of the most secure packages because of its durability.
It will normally takes 5-14 days for the item to arrive at your given address after we dispatch it. Time of delivery is estimated as accurately as possible by the carrier but does not take into account any delays beyond our control such as by inclement weather, post office holiday seasons.
* If you live in Australia and like to purchase an authentic Japanese sword, please click here to know the detail.
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【How to make sure the condition】
Please keep in mind that what you are going to purchase is an antique item. We uploaded high resolution photos for you to check its condition thoroughly. If you like to see more photos with different angles, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to send them to you so that you can make informed decision. It is essential for us to know that you are happy with your choice of a sword. and we are prepared to use the best of our ability to serve you.
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【The Art of Nihonto(Japanese Sword)】
Samurai’s history is a profound, eloquent legacy of ancient Japanese warriors in which millions of people worldwide are being fascinated. If you like to find out the art of Nihonto, please click here.
【A Guide to Japanese Sword Maintenance】
After acquiring an genuine Japanese sword, it is also important to know how to take good care of it. Here is the special video for you. Mr. Paul Martin, Japanese sword expert, shows you how to give proper maintenance to your sword. By mastering how to clean the Japanese sword, its aesthetic beauty will last forever.
When you purchase a Japanese sword from us, you can get a Free Japanese sword maintenance kit. It comes with four tools(Choji Oil, Uchiko Whetstone Powder, Peg remover, Oil Applicator). By watching the video instruction above , you can enjoy learning how to maintain your Japanese sword while appreciating it. If you have any difficulty assembling the sword or cleaning the blade, you can feel free to contact us.
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